Reports of greediness and residents using dishonest tactics to gather more than their share of food being provided by the government has led to an investigation into distributed food packages.
The food distribution was done in response to the extended 24-hour curfew that came to an end on 19 April. The charity was to ensure that families and other disadvantaged persons in the community did not go hungry during the lockdown period. As such the government and other nonprofit organizations such as the Family Support Network, and BVI Red Cross ventured out to provide food. However, it has been learned that the greedy tried to get more than the needy.
The investigation was mentioned by Minister for Health and Social Development Hon. Carvin Malone on social media on 25 April. Hon. Malone while repeatedly using the word ‘warning’ announced, “All recipients of Territorial Provisioning Packages (groceries) are warned that the delivery to homes are being checked to verify that numerous packages (more than one) from either government, FSN & Red Cross were not received by the same household.”
While noting that he is taking the matter seriously Hon. Malone said, “The program was intended for those who needed and could not leave their homes because of the extended curfew (in spite of income level) would not go hungry. Violators would be identified and contacted. You are encouraged to call 852-7688 and make arraignments to correct as there are families in need that have not been served.”
The Minister did not divulge why this move was necessary. However, it was assumed that Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie’ announcement that some persons used deceptive means to get more than their fair share was the reason why.
During the 16 April sitting of the House of Assembly the Premier mentioned the poor manner some persons behaved as regards charitable food distribution. Hon. Fahie told the House, “We have seen persons who we gave the voucher try to play other representatives to get another voucher. And, we see some of them want to play on you because you are the Representative and they say ‘you have to help me because I voted for you.’”
“Up to yesterday (15 April) the Family Support Network which has an account at One Mart Supermarket, has run up the amount. I told them to go right ahead and take up all the food and get it to the people. And we have seen persons who have already received food from the Family Support Network left and came back in other clothes, with a wig to get more food,” the Premier added.